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Cincinnati: Clifton Heights: U Square @ the Loop

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Guest JNAPIER

Calhoun Street Market Place is currently under construction and is a mix of retail and housing, with future phases known as McMillan Park.

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You knew it would happen...from Local12 (9/18/04):

 

 

Clifton Heights Business Owners Fighting Eminent Domain

 

Some Clifton Heights business owners are fighting the city possibly seizing their property by eminent domain to make way for new construction.

 

Several businesses have already closed due to construction, including Wendy's and Taco Bell. If the city were to seize properties, businesses such as Acropolis Chili and Inn the Wood would be forced to close. In order for the city to seize a property by eminent domain, the property must be declared blighted.

 

http://www.wkrc.com/news/local/story.aspx?content_id=E2C3FC14-A2C3-4DD9-A816-30EA91831D9E

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These business are currently surrounded by empty lots as the buildings around them are demolished. Their buildings aren't architecturally significant. Why don't they just move to another storefront on Calhoun or McMillan and let the project go forward. The completion of the project will help businesses along that stretch immeasurably.

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Guest Cincinnatus

^I agree. All this foot dragging is very counterproductive. That sort of thing held up tearing down the 5th and Race Tower so long that by the time it was settled and they got it torn down, there was no need since the whole project had fallen through.

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What would always be best is for developers to try to include local businesses that will have to be moved out in the plans--say, offering space within the development, etc. What usually ends up happening is that the businesses close down, or are forced away because the rents are bumped up.

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>These business are currently surrounded by empty lots as the buildings around them are demolished. Their buildings aren't architecturally significant.

 

Well I guarantee you the crap UC throws up won't be architectually significant either. We've been through this discussion before. Why, I ask for the millionth time, are row houses and unique businesses (what people claim to be striving for) being demolished when the Shell gas station remains? Look at the plan for that particular block. That building will tear down (if they haven't been torn down already) a strip of potentially decent looking row houses and replace them with a parking lot.

 

>Why don't they just move to another storefront on Calhoun or McMillan and let the project go forward. The completion of the project will help businesses along that stretch immeasurably.

 

Not necessarily if their rent goes up. Acropolis Chili and Inn the Wood/227 Tavern likely have their mortgages paid off. They don't want to move to another location where they have to pay rent. Frankly, the development will be more interesting if they are forced to build around those two buildings.

 

There are two little row buildings that refused to sell in the middle of Rockefeller Center. The place has more character because of it.

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I think the development is a good thing, although I wish they hadn't demolished such a large swath for it.  As the area stands now is almost a prairie.

 

What really needs to go are the structures at the corner of Vine/McMillan/Calhoun. *shiver*

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I went up there last week and was shocked at the size of the project,  the one thing that bums me out about the uc area is the traffic, people drive like maniacs and crossing the road is like crossing the old fort washington way in parts. I am not against new construcion but some of those old buildings that were torn down were beautiful, and I'm bummed to see them not there anymore.

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As much as I would like to of had the Reds in Correyville, I def don't think it could handle 40,000+ people going through that area.  Its bad enough at 6 pm on a weekday trying to get around.  BTW UC football usually pulls in 20,000 people.  I really wish that area would go back to what it was a decade or 2 ago, I heard that used to be the hang out of UC students.  I hardly go over there on short vine anymore, used to goto Martinos. 

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Yet, as I have pointed out numerous times, UC attacks these family-owned, unique businesses, and allows the Shell gas station to remain

 

I spoke with Dan Deering, head of CHCURC last year, and he said that the residents and business owners in the neighorhood wanted to keep the gas station.  There was a lot of community involvement in the whole process.

 

What really needs to go are the structures at the corner of Vine/McMillan/Calhoun.

 

This will happen in a later phase.

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Clifton Heights restaurants lose domain battle

Dan Monk

Courier Senior Staff Reporter

A Hamilton County judge has ruled in favor of a Clifton Heights redevelopment initiative that wants to use the city's power of eminent domain to tear down and rebuild part of Calhoun Street south of the University of Cincinnati.

 

"There can be no doubt that a public purpose is served by this urban renewal plan designed to revitaize a declining, deteriorating neighborhood," wrote Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Thomas Crush earlier this month.

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I noticed that part of Block 1 (the entertainment district) involves tearing down part of the old PrimeTime club that I went to when I was a dumb teenager.  It's halfway ripped down now (good riddance, it's hideous).

 

Supposedly, this is supposed to be the site of underground parking, a movie theater, upscale restaurants, office space, and perhaps a concert venue.

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I am glad that is finally coming down.  That intersection is such an eyesore and is such a gateway entrance to the university.  That block could be the one that brings the most punch to the entire redevelopment.

 

 

Although I will miss the old Burgundy's/Prime Time.....It was the first bar I was ever thrown out of!  (circa 1988 as a freshman).

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i noticed the demolition of the block today, and while i'm still excited about what they're gonna do here, it truly bothers me that this building couldn't have been saved and incorporated into the plan.  It is now a pile of rubble.

 

RIP

deja2.jpg

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I am with you Monte, this is going to remake the face of Clifton Heights and hopefully jump start a long needed resurrection of the entire UC neighborhood.  Between this, Stratford Commons, and all the residential going in on MLK between the main and medical campuses, things are going to be looking really sweet in a few years.

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Speaking of demolition, keep an eye on CHCURC.  They just purchased Old St. George.  While it's better than Walgreens, which had offered them something like $1.6 million, I know they would like nothing better than to tear it down (though they are working on some other redevelopment plans that could be very cool).

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I haven't seen anything that would suggest CHCURC is thinking about demolishing Old St. George. In fact, if I recall, their plans make reference to saving specific buildings of historic value including Old St. George.

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"Something not shown in the rendering above is the possibility of infilling the gap between the road and Calhoun Hall on the north side of Calhoun and adding even more storefront. "

 

I don't think there is enough depth between the Calhoun Street and Calhoun Residence Hall to put in retail.  The retail underneath University Park Apartments extends completely to the back of the building.  To do that with Calhoun Residence Hall would require eliminating much needed common area/ administrative space and a floor of housing in that building.  The only practical way to achieve what you presented is to knock the building down and start all over. 

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The only practical way to achieve what you presented is to knock the building down and start all over.

 

I wouldn't be opposed to that...I love having a skyline for the campus, so I'd love to see a 13 story (14 story?) building replace it, but man, Calhoun and Siddall have always struck me as excessively ugly structures.

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Take a look at the CHCRC plans because every indication in their plans indicated that the prices that they are charging for housing wont sale you can pick up the study for the Calhoun site along with McMillan Park at their office or get a copy from one of the local business owners who will be soon displaced.

 

This project although needed should have had larger input from the community on responsible development to enhance not displace.  Their is roughly two-hundred million dollars of development going along in that area and silly mistakes are being made.  For example, the condos/apartments In that development didn't take into account ADA access and parts of the structure had to be gutted also I believe that the restaurant project adjacent to these structures was only set up for electric, no gas.  Very few restaurants cook with gas.  And the piping for the project was a quarter inch off and needed replacing.  Also, the wall sockets were at 120 not 220.

 

Things like this really push back development.

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Longtime locations resisting 'renewal'

Four businesses fight Calhoun Street changes

 

By Lori Kurtzman

Enquirer staff writer

 

 

It's raining when Joe Kennedy and his wife drive up to their restaurant. He steps out of the car and walks to the building's side door, the one with the cracked glass, and pulls it open. Water runs from the roof and drips inside. Kennedy, a thin man with curly hair, passes beneath the stream and grunts.

 

"Another thing I'm not going to fix," he says, " 'cuz they're going to tear this place down."

 

Although Kennedy's fighting it, that's exactly what might happen.

 

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I remember them planning this when I was in DAAP from 90-95 (studied urban design). Never thought any of it would happen. Actually, seems like most of the Master Plan is completed (Earth Mounds, this project, Main Street thing, limited surface lots, more garages.)

 

Kind of cool to see it all happen (10 years late). Wonder if they still give out so many damn parking tickets still?

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Well, I've gotta say, I'm just glad this is all happening after my time at UC because it would have been enough to make me leave if I was still there...

 

I know five years down the line, no one will remember Acropolis Chili or Inn the Wood or the "old" Baba's, but right now, it's a little heartbreaking. 

 

Given, I HATED the fast food feel of the street while I lived on the south side of campus (Ohio Ave, Bosley) there was still enough there to satisfy me.  Baba's was my second home for 2 years and Inn the Wood served up some delicious breakfast logs!  I knew there needed to be a change, but they've gone far beyond what they should have.  I can't believe they knocked down all those row houses and other historic buildings with character that could have been left as an homage to the south campus of the past.  And if they TOUCH Old St. George, I'm on the first flight back from NYC to chain myself to the altar!  Two of my best friends got married there last year and the people who saved that building have put so much of themselves into it... a small fraction of what the city/university have put up for the rest of the development would make the biggest difference to them.

 

I say, "Good riddance McDonald's, Prime Time, Boston Market!"  "Good luck Baba's, Thai Express, independent retailers!"

 

By the way, how has this affected rents on the south side of campus?  My rent (1997-99) never went above $250/month over there in 3-5 bedroom houses...

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    I think U.C. has gone too far. They are to the point of being silly and out of touch.

 

    U.C. is a fine place to look at architecture, both good and bad. Unfortunately some of the new stuff falls into the bad catagory.

 

   

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But seriously, students from this period will graduate and move on and no one will remember what was there 8 years ago and this will be accepted as what IS.  And though it may seem that the south side of campus is inhabited 100% by students, that's definitely not the case.  How much power did these people's voices have? 

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This week's Business Courier has a cover article on the project.  They basically touch on the re-pricing of the condos.  The one bedroom, 800 s.f. condos start at $160K, with a few penthouse suites going for $800K.  Good luck on someone paying $800K to live there.  The only main draw would be if these are tall enough to have a kick ass view of the city, and you can pay $800K for that in a lot of other, better neighborhoods.  They should put all the units as "affordable", by which I mean the $160K ones and maybe keep the average around $220K.  I will post the entire article tomorrow when it comes out online.

 

BTW, the article does state that the CHCURC did buy St. George's and it is the only thing that will NOT be demolished!  Thank God.

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The only fear I have is that the average college student who's busting his ass and working his way through college will be completely priced out of the surrounding neighborhood.  I guess I'll have to wait and see who the retail tenants are.

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